More Doing It, Religiously
Talk of prayer and meditation often turns me off. Prayer brings to mind intercession and prayer for relief. However noble the ask, it's time spent asking that could be spent doing. Why ask for world peace? Peace doesn't belong to God. He doesn't keep it in a back shed. Peace is ours and our doing, or it doesn't exist.
Meditation turns me off because almost all the advertisements for the product could just as well be ads for balms or energy drinks.
Oh boy, I can haz higher consciousness? I can haz inner peace?
Or it's all about being tight with the Supreme Being. "Yeah, me and YHWH are buds, we hang out 2, sometimes 3 hours a day. You know, we just sits."
A fellow I know who practices meditation says it makes him One with the Godhead. If he and the Godhead are one, the Godhead is a vain, arrogant, jerk, whose greatest accomplishments are gaseous.
They say "Tat tvam asi" = "You [singular] are that." Why always singular? If we are all that, why not say so?
Then there's the meditation that achieves concentrated awareness by the incredibly lame act of concentrating on something utterly pointless for hours on end.
A current trend in local politics will illustrate that last point. The people who are bringing us the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in King County have a new mantra they have been repeating at all the meetings and all media opportunities. "We have to keep focused on ending homelessness." Repeating the mantra over and over again keeps them focused on the mantra, "We have to keep focused on ending homelessness." The mantra is itself not the ending of homelessness. That is not getting done, only the mantra is getting done.
My alternative to prayer and meditation is summed up in the words, "face it."
Find the emergency. Face it. Address it. Engage it. Move it. Change it.
The first step, facing it, is the only part that takes effort. If you face it with all your faculties, your whole mind, feeling, and imagination, the rest will take care of itself. If you really see the emergency, you will act out of your nature, because "you [plural] are that."
Skip the mantra. The mantra is not the emergency.